Messengers Before Us

Litany of Confession, Grace, & Journey to the Star-Child (Advent 4)

Out of the distant past,
the people petition creation and its angels:
Praise God, all of you
who are his messengers!
Praise God, all of you
who comprise his heavenly forces! (Psalm 148:2 CEB)

Out of the past,
an ordinary young woman,
receives a visit from a messenger.
When the angel came to her, he said,
“Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28 CEB)

And on that night two millennia past,
shepherds living in the fields,
welcomed a visitor.
The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified. (Luke 2:9 CEB)

Though frightened, they listened.
What they heard was remarkable and
accompanied by hope & joy.
Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 CEB)

They left their fields;
the shepherds took action;
after a messenger stood before them.
When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” (Luke 2:15 CEB)

The messengers have come and gone.
Our sacred book reveals truths to us.
And yet we too often fail to live our lives,
in response to the message of Good News we’ve received.

Forgive us, Lord, we ask.
Forgive us, Lord, we ask.

Millennia have passed.
Forgiveness and grace for each of us, continues to ripple out of Bethlehem.
Though frightened, though confused, though imperfect,
we turn our hearts and eyes toward the Star-Child once again.

Let us sing with the hope that numbers “in the millions—thousands upon thousands.“ (Revelation 5:11b CEB)
Let us worship. Let all creation worship!

Hymn Star-Child #174 SPP

light the first, second, third, AND fourth advent candle

***

This is all original material except the scripture quotes as indicated. Scripture quotes are from the Common English Bible, copyright 2011.

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Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of two perfect babies. The former pastor of the Condon United Church of Christ, Tim recently began serving the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

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Posted in Advent Series, Call to Worship, Confession of Sin & Assurance, Luke, Luke 1, Luke 1:28, Luke 2, Luke 2:1-20, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalm 148, Psalm 148:2, Psalms, Revelation, Revelation 5, Revelation 5:11, Uncategorized

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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